Some translations of Surah Al-Imran verse 3:35 state this:

when a woman of [the House of] `Imran prayed: "O my Sustainer! Behold, unto Thee do I vow [the child] that is in, my womb, to be devoted to Thy service. Accept it, then, from me: verily, Thou alone art all-hearing, all-knowing!"

I interpreted "a woman of" as one of multiple woman. Does this mean that Imran had multiple wives or consorts?

2 Answers 2


The translation you choose was presumably influenced by the Biblical narrative that Mary's father's name wasn't Imran. So, they translated in a way to accomodate that and say Mary's mother wasn't the wife of Imran, but just a woman from the House of a man called Imran.

So, the intent of the translator was not to say Imran had multiple wives but to say that Imran wasn't actually her husband in the first place. He could have been, apparently, an ancestor or patriarch of the family.

The plain words of the Arabic are: امْرَأَتُ عِمْرَانَ

It does not necessarily show an indefinite article. It can simply be translated as "the woman of Imran" hence "the wife of Imran."

Similar construction can be seen in 28:9, where Allah says "امْرَأَتُ فِرْعَوْن" (the wife of Pharaoh) where the only difference in the Arabic construction is that the name Pharaoh is substituted for Imran.


The indefinite article is an artefact of translation. The original can as well be translated with "the wife ". The Qur'an is the only reliable source, and doesn't mention multiple wives. The tellings from the Christian tradition are all not considered reliable by any scholars, neither Islamic nor Christian. The unreliable source mentions a female servant to the wife.

  • I've seen such translations, but what is the actual translation? Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 19:39
  • Both translations are possible. Polygamy was not forbidden in that time but like in today's Islam most men had one wife. So I would rather use "the ".
    – Jeschu
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 21:37

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